Manufacturing companies have always tried to use the latest technology to improve productivity and safety. In recent years, manufacturing companies have added another tool to their toolbox in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). While there are many potential uses for AI, manufacturing firms are starting to discover how useful it can be with regard to preventive maintenance.
For many companies, preventive maintenance is both useful and annoying. In the long run, it’s typically the best thing, but it can also be disruptive and time-consuming. However, with AI, preventive maintenance can become far less of a hassle. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between AI and preventive maintenance and how this new technology is helping manufacturers perform routine maintenance in a far more efficient manner.
Autonomous Maintenance Becomes Easier
The goal for any company should be to get to a point of autonomous maintenance, which is having those who operate the machines able to perform maintenance rather than relying on special technicians for the work. Of course, operators and technicians have different skillsets and different knowledge bases, so the training required to get to autonomous maintenance is quite extensive.
However, AI can expedite this process by helping operators develop a better understanding of their machines. AI software can put the data and tools needed to perform preventive maintenance at the fingertips of machine operators, helping the process go a little quicker thanks to AI.
One of the great benefits of utilizing AI with preventive maintenance is the ability to learn about potential problems faster. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s possible to recognize patterns that are consistent with optimal production levels and those consistent with a failure within the machine. Internet-enabled devices attached to a machine will have access to datasets from that machine’s history that can alert operators if everything is operating normally or if there’s an issue that would otherwise go undetected.
Thanks to AI, preventive maintenance can begin minutes after an anomaly is detected rather than waiting hours or days for the operator to notice that something is amiss. This extra warning time can help companies address problems even faster and ensure that machines are always operating at optimal production levels.
Preventive Becomes Predictive
With the help of AI, preventive maintenance can actually turn into predictive maintenance. Typically, preventive maintenance is the safer approach because predictive maintenance only takes place once a problem is detected. But if artificial intelligence is being utilized properly, issues can be detected and corrected much sooner.
Before AI, a machine would have to break down entirely or start showing signs of an obvious problem before predictive maintenance could take place. However, AI can often notify machine operators of the slightest problem, long before any human would have noticed something was wrong. If companies feel comfortable putting their trust in AI, preventive maintenance could almost become obsolete. Rather than conducting potentially pointless and time-wasting inspections, artificial intelligence will alert workers whenever a problem with the machine needs to be addressed.
All About Data
In every aspect of a business, the more information you have the better. With artificial intelligence, each machine will have sensors to collect and process data like never before. Even if companies leave it up to employees to interpret the data and make decisions, AI is there to do all of the dirty work.
As it relates to preventive maintenance, data collected using AI can be used to create more appropriate maintenance schedules. Companies will know how much use every machine is getting and when it shows signs of diminishing productivity. At the end of the day, managers will have so much data from AI that decisions on preventive maintenance will be as easy as possible.
Safety is the Goal
At the end of the day, the point of using AI for preventive maintenance is to improve productivity and create a safer workplace. When it comes to safety, there’s no better option than using safety management software. EHS Insight has a system that will make sure no element of safety is overlooked, from investigating accidents to organizing safety training to assisting with communication between workers and supervisors.
If workplace safety is a priority, let’s have a conversation about how our software can be helpful in creating a safer workplace.